December 1, 2010
In this time of grave rumblings on all political fronts, I am brought to ease by reading books that help me understand all the ravings. Two books that help me through this period are George Lakoff’s “Don’t Think of an Elephant” and Hacker and Pierson’s “Winner Take-All Politics.” If I were teaching a course on current political science, these would be my textbooks.
On the one hand, the framing of the debate by the right wing is clearly understood when reading Lakoff’s book. Driving to and from Durango this fall, I listened (again) to it and found much to understand about this past election. And the newer book, “Winner Take-All Politics,” explains how the haves have succeeded and the have-nots have gone down the drain, underlining the middle-class crisis that we sit in.
In a time of debate about the tax cuts for the rich, it is important to understand why we should say no to the richest 1 percent of Americans. And yes to a tax cut for the middle class, plus an extension of unemployment benefits to those out of work. In a town full of the super-rich and the near-rich, I have to understand how we all got here. These books are the clue to where we go from here.